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A toilet is a critical piece of hardware that we rarely appreciate until it’s defectivein some way.
One of the most common problems with a toilet is that it continuously runs. Thisnot only wastes water and money but could result in damage to other parts ofyour house. Furthermore, some homeowners get annoyed by the sound of aconstantly running toilet, as this can influence their productivity.
Even though fixing a running toilet can usually be done by anyone in under 5minutes, many homeowners react impulsively when discovering such an inadequacy.
In this article, we offer some tips for people who are experiencing a runningtoilet. We focus our guide on psychological methods that homeowners can use toprevent any kind of irrational behavior. Ultimately, the more rational we arein the moment, the more damage we can prevent from occurring.
Shut Off the WaterSupply
If your toilet won’t stop running, the first thing you should do is cut off itswater supply. This will effectively stop it from running, giving you some timeto consider your next move.
In order to do this, there is usually a silver knob near the bottom of yourtoilet. You should turn this knob all the way to the right until you experiencesome resistance. Don’t force the knob beyond this, but make sure it is quitetight.
Many people forget to do this when they discover a running toilet. Yet, this mightbe the most important step of all. This is because the biggest problem relatedto a running toilet is irrational decision making. Many people freak out whenthey notice their toilet is still running because they automatically assumethat the worst is going to happen. The actions that these people take end upexacerbating the condition of their toilet rather than fixing it.
Shutting off your toilets water can give you some space to reflect on the best route ofaction going forward. Most importantly, you will be able to problem-solve atyour own pace instead of feeling rushed by running water. This will prevent youfrom impulsively tinkering with parts in the toilet tank and potentiallyaggravating the situation.
In some cases, your toilet might have been running for quite a while. This couldresult in leaks in other parts of the house due a burstpipe. In these situations, it will be beneficial to cut off the mainwater supply to your house. The location of this will vary depending on yourhouse. Usually these are located near your water heater or in your garage. Ifyou can’t find it there, sometimes it’s located outside near the street in abox in the ground.
If you can’t locate your house’s main water supply valve or are having troublecutting off the water supply to your toilet, then it’s time to contact a plumber.
Breath and Meditate Briefly
At this point, some experts might claim that you should immediately get proactiveabout fixing your toilet. However, we think this is counterintuitive most ofthe time, especially if you tend to emotionally react to unexpectedevents.
Sure, if you feel very stable and level-headed, then by all means, skip to the nextsection of this guide.
However, many homeowners would benefit from taking a short break, concentrating on theirbreathing,and meditatingfor a brief period of time. This will ensure that you are calm and collectedbefore proceeding with problem-solving.
One way of doing this is to breathe in through your nose and out through yourmouth. Many people like to label each breath as “inhale” or “exhale”, as thisgrounds their ego and prevents them from fixating on the negative aspects ofthe situation.
We recommend meditating in another room away from your toilet. This will allow youto truly disconnect from the event and return to a baseline state of serenityand happiness. From this state of mind, you will be better equipped todetermine why your toilet won’t stop running.
Determinethe Cause of Your Running Toilet
Once you’ve turned off your water supply and briefly meditated,the next step is to determine the cause of the running water.
This could be due to a number of things, such as a faultyflapper, damaged fill valve, improper water levels, or sediment buildup.
The first step in determining this cause is to remove thecover from your toilet tank. This is a relatively heavy piece of hardware thatmany people don’t realize can be removed. Usually this cover just sits over thetoilet tank, so it can be easily removed. The main obstacle is its weight.
If you are struggling with picking up the cover, werecommend seeking help from someone stronger. Since toilets are often in verycramped spaces, dropping or botching the removal of a toilet tank cover couldresult in injury or further damage to your house.
If you can remove it, then just sit it on a stable surfaceout of the way.
Next, peer into the toilet tank. Most toilets utilize thesame kind of technology in order to regulate the water levels. This entails ahandle which is connected to a flapper. When you press the handle, the flapperis lifted and the water from the tank rushes into the toilet bin. A fill valvethen relies on a float mechanism to regulate how the tank fills back up withwater.
In this sense, if there is a problem with the fill valve,the flapper, the float, or any part that connect these things, your toilet mightconsistently run.
For example, sometimes the flapper can accumulatesediments over a period of time. Thus, it might not perfectly seal, allowing asmall amount of water to constantly escape from the tank. This would cause thetoilet to constantly run.
If this is the case, then you would just need to replacethe flapper. Most of these can be purchased for under $15 at your localhardware store, like HomeDepot or Lowes.
Seek a Solution tothe Problem
Once you’ve determined why your toilet won’t stop running, it’s time to get proactive.
This means replacing any parts that are defective or calling a plumber if the solution requires advanced knowledge.
Whatever route you take, it’s important to seek a solution relatively soon after the initial discovery. This doesn’t mean right away, as we’ve already discussed the negative impact of impulsive reactions. But, it does mean getting proactive on the same day if possible.
The longer you wait to fix your toilet, the more problems that could result. Some people delay a solution and end up forgetting that the toilet is off limits. Thus ,they end up using it but forget that the water supply is turned off. This can create a dirty bathroom that temporarily smells bad because you can’t flush your toilet. Alternatively, this might lead to you trying to flush the toilet despite it not working. This could result in even more damage.
Keep in mind that a plumber will likely be very expensive. Thus, you should really only go this route if you’re unable to fix the toilet yourself. Hiring a plumber simply because you’re lazy would represent an unnecessary investment of funds.
Also, just because you can’t repair your toilet yourself doesn’t mean you have to call a plumber. It’s very likely that one of your neighbors is a relative expert when it comes to fixing running toilets. Enlisting their help could save you time and money.
Don’t be afraid to go next door and ask your neighbor for support. Neighborhoods originated in order to provide a community for people to rely on in times of hardship. Even though we live in the 21st century, experiencing a running toilet can be an unnerving experience that requires the assistance of a more knowledgeable homeowner.
Our Final Thoughts On Why Your Toilet Won’t Stop Running
Lastly, it’s critical that you remember that there’s more to life than a perfectly functioning toilet. Even if every toilet in your house suddenly stopped working, your state of mind should be strong enough to withstand this kind of event. Ultimately, if your happiness is so brittle that it can be disturbed by a running toilet, then you should probably do some reflecting about the nature of your happiness.
One way of keeping things in perspective is to exercise after you’ve sufficiently dealt with why your toilet won’t stop running. This can help detach you from the emotions and feelings surrounding the repair. Many people like to use this distance to appreciate all the good things in their life, like their job, friends, and family.
Alternatively, many people like to do the opposite after dealing with a running toilet, namely being very still. This could entail taking a nap, meditating, reading a book, or painting.
Whatever you do, make sure you occupy your mind with appreciative thoughts that focus on love and happiness rather than hatred, bitterness, and frustration.